Companies Partner to Boost Biodiversity at UK Renewable Energy Sites

Queequeg Renewables, a UK developer of renewable energy projects, has unveiled a new partnership with Biodiverse Consulting, a UK environmental consultancy that specializes in biodiversity net gain.
Companies Partner to Boost Biodiversity at UK Renewable Energy Sites
Courtesy of Queequeg Renewables

The two companies are working together on five solar and BESS (Battery Energy Storage System) projects across the UK to ensure that each site meets its BNG targets.

BNG was mandated as part of The Environment Act 2021 and came into force in February this year. The law ensures that developments affecting habitats for wildlife are left in a measurably better state than they were before by at least 10%.

Commenting on the partnership, Chris Binns, UK Planning Director at Queequeg Renewables, said, “The solar panels themselves are installed on posts, meaning there is minimal disturbance to the ground – typically only around one to two percent of the total site area. This means the rest of the land is available for sheep-grazing and to actively improve the local environment through wildflower meadows or re-wilding.”

Solar farms improve local biodiversity by supporting new and existing plant and animal life in a range of ways, both on-site and also on nearby land. These include:

  • Establishing wildflower meadows and grasslands: The large spaces between ground-mounted solar panels provide plenty of space to create new habitats for pollinators, butterflies, and ground-nesting birds.
  • Preserving and supporting new hedge growth: To reverse hedge loss, a major concern for countryside management across the UK, new solar projects aim to preserve, restore, or even deliver new hedge growth.
  • Preserving and promoting new wetland habitats: On-site drainage and water management systems can be specifically designed to incorporate wetland habitats. These systems reduce local flood risk and support terrestrial and aquatic life with wetlands and ponds.

Binns continued, “As a renewable energy developer, Queequeg is committed to maintaining and improving the environment. This includes preserving existing habitats, creating new ones, and enhancing biodiversity at each of our sites.

“The expert team at Biodiverse Consulting works with us from a project’s initial concept stage to understand the flora and fauna on site and the habitats and wildlife that are present. They then create a bespoke solution that maximises a new site’s positive impact for people and wildlife alike. Their insight is invaluable.”

Vicki Mordue, Founder and Director of Biodiverse Consulting, said, “For companies to deliver mandatory 10% biodiversity net gains, they must thoroughly understand the risks and opportunities of each individual project. Our integrated approach involves expert guidance at each stage of the development process – beginning with preliminary risk and opportunity appraisals, followed by survey and assessment for planning and monitoring: through to construction and ongoing operations.

“From working with Chris and the team, it is clear that Queequeg takes the issue of biodiversity extremely seriously and works hard to transform each of its sites into spaces where local species thrive,” she added.

“As passionate advocates of business and biodiversity working hand in hand for a better planet, we are delighted to support Queequeg with its UK solar projects.”

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